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Published on February 25, 2015

Men, Don't Fear the Doctor

February 25, 2015

man who is about the sneezeMost men try to tough it out when they’re sick. Making time for regular health checkups—even when you feel fine—could help keep you healthy.

It seems as if more and more men are foregoing their annual physicals because they feel fine. In fact, men are four times less likely than women to have sought medical attention in the past year, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality. However, simple preventive screenings and laboratory tests can pinpoint health problems before major lifestyle changes—or procedures—are warranted.

Just as your car needs an oil change every 3,000 miles, your health needs a once-over every 365 days. To keep your body in tune, make time for these types of tests:

  • Regular blood cholesterol and blood pressure tests. Starting in your 20s, these tests could predict your risk of cardiovascular conditions or stroke.
  • Prostate-specific antigen tests and digital rectal exams. Talk with your physician to determine the type and frequency of prostate screenings that may be appropriate for you.
  • Colorectal cancer screenings. At age 50, it’s time to screen for colorectal cancer. If you’re at higher risk because of a personal or family history of the disease, ask your physician if you should start screening ahead of schedule. He or she can also help you choose the screening best for you.

Making the Most of Your Appointment

If it’s been a while since your last visit, you may be nervous or worried. To ease your nerves:

  • Honesty is the best policy. If you aren’t candid with your physician, he or she can’t help you. So whether your vice is noshing on fried food, having one too many beers with the guys or puffing on cigarettes when you’re stressed, tell the truth about those activities. Your physician can offer ways to reduce stress or beat cravings. The same goes for medications and supplements you take, which could interfere with new medications your physician prescribes.
  • Know your family tree. Learning more about health conditions that run in your family can help you understand your own personal risk. Before your visit, talk with your parents and siblings about any conditions they’ve encountered so you have a better picture of your family medical history before your visit.
  • List your top five concerns or questions. Clearing the air can help you feel in control. If there’s something you don’t understand, ask your physician or nurse to explain it in different terminology.

Men, having a Medical Home is essential to ensuring that you and your family receive the best possible care and outcomes. Get started today by getting to know our providers so you can choose who is the best fit for you.

Sources: usatoday.comhuffingtonpost.cacdc.gov

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